Anti-Kell allo-immunization in a Tertiary Care Hospital in North central Nigeria

  • A.O. Shittu
  • H.O. Olawumi
  • A.E. Fawibe
  • S.A. Biliaminu
  • W.B. Yahya


Objective: Although ABO and Rh are the most clinically important blood group systems, other systems are also immunogenically significant. After ABO and Rh systems, anti-K, anti-k, anti-Kpa, anti-Kpb, anti-Jsa, anti-Jsb, and anti-U1a, were the next to cause acute and delayed haemolytic transfusion reactions and Haemolytic Disease of Fetus and Newborn.

Design: A prospective cross-sectional study.

Subjects: 300 adult patients who had one or more units of packed cells or whole blood for correction of anaemia.

Interventions: antibody screening, identification and titration was performed using commercially prepared panel of cells on the serum obtained by centrifuging 2ml of venous blood aspirated from every blood transfusion recipient 48 hours after transfusion.

Result: Anti-K allo-immunization in this study was 1.6%. Anaemia and bleeding associated with pregnancy and other obstetrics and gynaecology disorders, Diabetes Mellitus and cancer of the bladder were indications for transfusions in 60%, 20% and 20% respectively of the 5 anti-K allo-immunized recipients. Female sex and previous blood transfusions correlated significantly with anti-K  alloimmunization while age, types of unit transfused, and types of transfusion did not. All the anti-K allo-antibodies were of the IgG while 2 were of IgG + IgM type.

Conclusion: Because of the high prevalence of anti-K in this study, antibodies screening and identification is recommended to improve  blood transfusion safety.


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eISSN: 0012-835X